PDT Staff Writer
St. Mary’s Parish Food Pantry is one of 10 agencies in the state to receive funding from the Donor Advised Fund through The Catholic Foundation.
Julie Naporano, Interim Marketing Manager with the Catholic Foundation said, “Last month when a donor couple came to us saying they wanted to open a Donor Advised Fund but didn’t know what organizations were in most need, we were ready. What a Donor Advised Fund means is they will potentially keep contributing to their own personal fund. It is an anonymous donor, but instead of them advising where they’d like the grants to be made, they made it unrestricted, and since we knew where the needs are it allows us to make the grants.”
Naporano said in May, Scioto County recorded the third highest rate of unemployment in the state at 10.5 percent, and the county’s food insecurity rate is among the highest in the diocese at 19.3 percent. But she said that while St. Mary Parish Food Pantry helps address the community hunger it has had to close on several occasions for lack of food. St. Mary Parish Food Pantry is supplied by the Freestore Foodbank in Cincinnati. The Donor Advised Fund grant will purchase about 1,600 pounds of food.
According to Feeding America, Ohio’s food vulnerability percentage is a staggering 18 percent. This means that approximately 1 out of 5 people do not know from where their next meal will come, Naporano said. Seeing a 60 percent increase in need from their food pantries in the last two years, the Foundation looked first to respond to that basic need, followed by clothing, medicine and utilities. Applicants who did not receive funding in the Focus or The Challenge In Changing Times grants process were given first priority.
“The Catholic Foundation provides grants two times a year,” Naporano said. “People have to write in for grants, and one of our grants is called the Focus, and the other is called The Challenge in Changing Times grant. Those who applied for those grants found that while the need was great, the funding is limited. While we help by supplying a lot of money for a lot of organizations, there are some that don’t receive funding. So it’s those that we gave first priority. And out of those it was those with the greatest need.”
Naporano said opening a Donor Advised Fund is as easy as sharing a cup of coffee.
“Your Donor Advised Fund will allow you to recommend distributions to the qualified tax-exempt organization(s) of your choice at any time you choose,” Naporano said. “You will receive immediate charitable deductions when you open it and when you make additional contributions to your account. The Catholic Foundation is here to help make a difference in the lives of others.”
Information about opening your own Donor Advised Fund is available at www.catholic-foundation.org, or 614-443-8893.
Frank Lewis may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 232, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.